Adolescent fertility: knowledge attitude and practices of out of school adolescents of reproductive health, contraception and their sexual behavior
Ochola, S A
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This study was based on a sample of 377 never married adolescents (230 males and 147 females) attending Youth Polytechnics in Busia District. This number represented about half the total enrolment in those institutions. The majority of the respondents (86.2%) had only Primary School education. The main objective was to establish their knowledge, attitude and practices on contraception, their sexual behaviour, their knowledge on reproductive health, their views on pre-marital sex as well as their desired age at marriage and desired family sizes. A knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) questionnaire was utilised for the survey. The results revealed that the average age of males was 19.0 years while that of females was 18.0 years. The majority (69.B%Y claimed that lack of school fees prevented them from continuing with formal education while 15.4% of the respondents cited poor academic performance as the main reason for discontinuing their formal education. The rest gave other reasons. Pre-marital sexual relations were prevalent; 69.6% of the males and 39.5% of the females were sexually experienced and 10.2%-of the girls interviewed had been pregnant before. Multiplicity of sexual partners was more evident among the males than the females. (viii) Contraceptive knowledge was moderate but contraceptive prevalence was low. Only 9.0% of the respondents were using effective contraceptive methods. Only 8.8%: of the respondents were able to identify correctly when conception is most likely to occur in a normal menstrual cycle of a woman. The majority of the respondents said that pre-marital sex is bad but added that it was however difficult to avoid. About 89.1% of them expressed a desire to be taught or given more information on contraceptives. Ignorance and misconceptions about contraceptives were the main reasons for non use of contraceptives amone the sexually active adolescents in the study population. The mean desired age at first marriage in the study population was higher than the current national mean age at first marriage of 18.7 years and the desired mean number of children for both sexes was less than four. The knowledge of symptoms and signs of the common sexually transmitted diseases was low as was the rate of protection against sexually transmi.tted di.s eases. among the sexually active adolescents. Ne ede.d contraceptive services and health information and educational needs are discussed.